Health officials are warning about a multidrug-resistant salmonella outbreak in connection to raw chicken. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 92 people became sick and 21 were hospitalized after eating various types and brands of chicken products purchased from different locations between January 19, 2018, and September 9, 2018. There are no reported deaths, and a supplier has yet to be identified.
Of 54 people interviewed, 48 reported preparing or eating ground, whole, or pieces of chicken that was purchased raw. One person claims they fell ill after his or her pets ate raw ground chicken pet food, and another says they lived with someone who works in a facility that raises or processes chickens.
This outbreak is not isolated in just any one region, but there are more documented sicknesses on the East Coast. The largest number of ill people are in Pennsylvania (11), followed by New York (10), Massachusetts (9), and New Jersey (9). For a full list of the 29 states involved in this outbreak, follow this link.
The consumption of food contaminated with salmonella could result in salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever that show 12 to 72 hours after eating poisoned food. This normally goes away after four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment.
But lab technicians who identified the salmonella strain say it’s actually resistant to multiple antibiotics. Testing also provided evidence that people got sick from handling or eating raw or undercooked chicken, so this may seem obvious: Wash your hands before eating or preparing food and always use a cooking thermometer to make sure you aren’t undercooking your meat. These are just two of many ways to avoid food poisoning